Wood stock saviours

Last updated 11:00 04/12/2013

RECYCLED WOOD: Wood waste from demolition sites is being redirected into unique one-off pieces of furniture.

NEW HOME: Rekindle turns wood from red-zoned Christchurch homes into jewellery, including house-shaped earrings.

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Rekindle, the local initiative which turns waste wood from demolished red- zoned homes into jewellery, furniture and art, has opened a permanent shop on New Regent St.

Sharing a space with The Auricle - Sonic Arts Gallery and Wine Bar, Rekindle has expanded from an online store to include a broader range of handcrafted jewellery including necklaces, bracelets, earrings and cufflinks.

The collective has a creative solution to wood waste by redirecting it into furniture, sculpture, interiors and jewellery.

Juliet Arnott, who founded Rekindle just over a year ago, is pleased with how the venture has developed and grown.

"We started with just a chair," she says. "Now, more than 20,000 metres of reclaimed wood later, our range has expanded to include stools, benches and tables along with jewellery, toys and sculpture."

Beautiful timber such as kauri, matai and rimu are most commonly diverted from waste and reused at Rekindle.

The bar at The Auricle is being made by Rekindle out of a large piece of kauri.

"Every piece is unique and because the wood they're made from has had a previous life, possess a rich history."

Houses are offered through Canterbury demolition company Jamon.

"Rekindle has a salvage team that checks the material. Before the digger comes through the team goes through and buys timber by the metre."

A third of this material cannot be used in furniture so Rekindle have turned these "loose ends" into jewellery, including wood earrings shaped like houses.

"It's a sensitive, inherently challenging process. Rekindle has used wood from houses throughout the eastern red zone."

This week a home in Cashmere will get the Rekindle treatment.

"Every piece of wood is valuable. The end of a piece of weatherboard becomes bracelets and cufflinks."

Bracelets are made from heart wood and sold with locally produced walnut oil.

Rekindle started in Auckland after Arnott returned home from the United Kingdom.

"I'd finished art school in Auckland and noticed wood going to waste. In early 2012 I came to Christchurch to do a talk at CPIT about reusing materials," she explains.

"I was a bit blind to the amount of waste here. I realised there was more urgency for something like Rekindle in Christchurch so I moved down here that August."

The gallery space also hosts a sculptural exhibit of work made from reclaimed timber by a local artist.

"I have a bit of an obsession around even using the smallest pieces of wood to show that there is worth to holding on to resources you have."

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- © Fairfax NZ News


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